Monday, June 24, 2019

The Historic Igo Schoolhouse

The historic Schoolhouse located at the Shasta District Fairgrounds in Anderson. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on June 19, 2019.

In 1872, Igo pioneer and resident Charles N. Kingsbury, an active miner and a native of New York, erected a one room school house which was used as a school in the town of Igo on the property of the present Igo-Ono School. The wood was hauled into Igo from Shingle Creek at Shingletown. It included a well and an out-house.

Learn to write in cursive on the chalkboard. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on June 19, 2019.

The school lacked running water and electricity. A wood stove was used to heat the one room school house during the winter months and cold rainy days. One teacher educated the students from grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Some years the teacher taught A board of trustees was established to preside over financial affairs, repairs and to help guide the school into the future. Being a trustee of the school was a paid position just like the teachers did.

An interior pic. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on June 19, 2019.

In 1941 the town of Igo received their first electricity, and so did the school house. The decade of the 1950s brought a new feature to the school house, running water. It was utilized by the Platina Union School District until 1960 when the last class was taught by Mrs. Lucy Plumb. In 1970 the building was relocated by truck to Anderson at the Shasta District Fairgrounds.

Original restoration took place by the Shasta Historical Society between the years 1989-1991. Since that time the organization has made many additional restorations to the building so it can be enjoyed by future generations to come and up to code on safety regulations. The Shasta Historical Society keeps the historic Igo Schoolhouse open during the Shasta District Fair, and some times during Anderson Explodes. 

The original stove wood still housed inside the building. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on June 19, 2019.

This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on June 19, 2019. 


*Note: Teachers prior to 1901 are not well documented.

1901 - A.E. Downing

1904 - Mrs. L. Cunningham

1905 - Mary Stevens

1906 - Mrs. Alex Cox

1907 - Maude M. Sears

1908 - Addie Baker

1909 - Mrs. Mary Kingsbury

1910-1912 - Mrs. Lulu Swanson

1913-1915 - Pauline Rimer

1915-1918 - Mrs. Pearl Miller

1919 - Mrs. Sydnie Jones

1920 - Arleta Hubbard

1921-1944 - Mrs. Sydnie Jones

1944-1958 - Mrs. Amy Jones

1958- 1960 - Mrs. Lucy Plumb


The Igo Schoolhouse 1872-1970 printed by Shasta Historical Society

Igo School printed by Shasta Historical Society

Friday, May 31, 2019

Gold Fever: A Tale of the Lost Cabin Mine

The Lost Cabin mine is a fabled gold mine which was located by prospectors Cox, Benedict and Compton during the year 1850, however, the first quartz mines in Shasta County were not dug out and located until 1852, everything up-until-then (in this county) were placer mines. While the three miners were prospecting in the Sacramento River Canyon (where it is believed to have been located) a grizzly bear met them face-to-face. The miners shot and killed the animal which fell into a natural shaft about several feet in diameter. One of the men jumped into this depression in the ground to cut the meat from the grizzly bear for food.

While he was carving out the meat from the grizzly bear, he noticed a gold nugget in the shaft and he stopped cutting meat to continue to prospect this natural hole while he moved the large creature around to give him room to make the search. He found additional free gold, and he stopped collecting the nuggets. The three men discussed what to do next and they decided to cut the trees in the area to erect two cabins. Eventually, the two cabins were erected by Cox, Benedict and Compton at the site. They also found a way to lift the body of the grizzly bear out of the hole to clear it out.

Cox, Benedict and Compton, stayed in the area for sometime they had axes with them which helped them build their cabins and blaze a trail to their discovery site. However, within time the fear of the heavy winter months ahead forced them to abandoned this claim. Legend has it that the three men departed the area with $40,000 each. in free gold, a grand total of $120,000. They reached a trading post near Whiskeytown, and showed the people at the trading post their findings which made their story factual and in time legendary. The three men never returned to Shasta County, and the secret of its location went with them until they died.

Then in 1853, John W. Hillman led a party of prospectors into the Sacramento River Canyon in the upper end of the canyon in hopes to locate the fabled Lost Cabin mine, this was before he discovered Crater Lake in Oregon. Their search yielded no results. The men were hoping to find the cabins of the former miners still standing in a non-populated place. Once they found no trace of this fabled site they decided to move north into the Oregon territory.  

During 1855, a new rush of miners seeked-out the area of Lower Soda Springs which was the home to Castle Crags. The tale of the Lost Cabin mine was retold by an early pioneer settler of the area named Joe De Blondy alias Mountain Joe who kept a trading post in the area. Mountain Joe had befriended another pioneer in the area by the name Cincinnatis H. Miller alias Joaquin Miller the famed Poet of the Sierra's who also talked about the fabled mine. Mountain Joe thought it would bring him additional business to his trading post, and his business flourished because of it. As more European-American's and other emigrants entered Shasta County the tale became widespread. Thousands of men dotted the creeks and bars on the Sacramento River in search of the fabled mine.
Pictured above: Cincinnatis H. Miller alias Joaquin Miller the famed Poet of the Sierra's. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Miners began filling the nearby creeks and the Sacramento River with mud from their mining activities which killed the salmon run in these channels. They also began to hunt the wild game in the area which left no food for the Modoc Indians. The Modoc Indians began attacking travelers using the Oregon Trail in response to the European-Americans which forced the closure of that famous route in Shasta County. It was a major set back for the region as supplies and the local mail couldn’t reach various areas. After that, a raid was made upon Mountain Joe’s trading post and many supplies were stolen by them including sacks of flour. Some of these flour sacks accidentally tore open upon their return home. This allowed the European-Americans to find them easier as it marked a trail for them, in June of 1855, a war broke out called Battle Rock. Battle Rock was a deadly clash between the Modoc Indians in the area and the gold miners who were in search of the Lost Cabin mine due to the above events.

Captain George R. Crook led his military troops up Castle Crags to fight the Modoc Indians but they ended up losing the fight. The next attack was led by pioneer Reuben Gibson whose wife was was a daughter of Chief Weilputas, Chief of the Shasta Indians. The Shasta Indians were enemies of the Modoc Indian tribe. The Chief loaned his Indian warriors to Gibson. This group also contained Shasta County Sheriff John Driebelbis, Mountain Joe, Joaquin Miller, and additional gold miners to assist them in their fight. It was in this battle that Joaquin Miller was injured. Gibson’s group won the battle. Battle Rock was also documented as being the last battle in which local Indians used bows and arrows.

As for the Lost Cabin mine, it has never been found in Shasta County, yet, their have been many claims over the years in other areas of California printed by various media outlets which claim that miners have found the legendary Lost Cabin mine. There is a version of the story printed by the San Francisco Gate which places the fabled gold mine in Trinity County. However, these are the Shasta related events that are known. It still attracts a lot of attention today. Battle Rock is now a California historical landmark.

The plaque states, “Battle Rock - Battle of the Crags was fought below Battle Rock in June 1855. This conflict between the Modoc Indians and the settlers resulted from miners destroying the native fishing waters in the Lower Soda Springs area. Settlers led by Squire Reuben Gibson and Mountain Joe Doblondy, with local Indians led by their Chief Weilputus, engaged Modocs, killed their Chief Dorcas Della, and dispersed them. Poet Joaquin Miller and other settlers were wounded.”  California Registered Historical Landmark No. 116 Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, Trinitarianus Chapter #62, July 26, 1984. Photograph taken by Jeremy Tuggle on May 31, 2019.


STORY OF SHASTA'S LOST CABIN MINE IS AN INTERESTING ONE - By May Southern - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 18, 1930

The Legend of the Lost Cabin Mine, 1948 by Robert O’Brien - San Francisco Gate, June 17, 2012

Shasta County, California A History by Rosena Giles, published by Biobooks, ©1949, pages 37-38.

The Covered Wagon 1967, published by Shasta Historical Society

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Memories of the Greyhound Bus Station

Memories of the Greyhound Bus Station

By Jeremy M. Tuggle, Research Historian and Denny Mills, Interim Director at Shasta Historical Society

Photo above: D-051, B-3005. Greyhound Depot, Redding, California. Photo courtesy of the U.C .Davis Eastman Kodak Originals Collection, Department of Special Collections, General Library of U.C. California. courtesy of the Department of Special Collections.

When you walk into a home or a business, do you ever wonder what stood there before?

For a moment, think of the Chamber of Commerce with its red and white awning located on the corner of Pine and Butte. The Chamber is in the White Building, as it has come to be called, along with Wild Card Brewery and Sierra Pacific. Windows on the ground floor, and home to several residents on the second floor. But what was at that location before the White Building? Many of us immediately respond, “The Greyhound Bus Depot!”

Prior to the 1930 incorporation and arrival of the Pacific Greyhound Lines in Redding, the motor coach company that transported travelers north of San Francisco was Pickwick Stages, located at 1618 California Street. Pickwick was just one of many smaller transport companies in California acquired and absorbed into the holdings of the Pacific Greyhound Lines, which was a division of Greyhound Bus Lines.

The 1930s was a rough decade for the Pacific Greyhound Lines as two unfortunate Greyhound Bus accidents occurred near Redding. The first incident, in 1932, happened when a bus traveling from Red Bluff to Redding struck a tree and rolled down an embankment. A second accident in 1937, which gained considerably more notoriety, resulted in the deaths of seven. This accident occurred at Shiloah Springs, about forty-eight miles north of Redding in the Sacramento River Canyon, when a bus traveling north took a sharp turn, overturned, and caught fire. 

In 1939, the Greyhound Bus Depot moved from its California Street location to 1323 Butte Street. The new building was built in the Art Deco style and at that time did not encompass the entire footprint it would eventually occupy. A picture of the Greyhound Depot dated around 1945 is above. It shows the Depot did not extend all the way to Pine Street and that the Greyhound dog had yet to be added to the Greyhound Depot sign. 

Research found references referring to a 1953 move into the “new” Greyhound building, even though we know it was located at its Butte Street location as early as 1939. One explanation is that this is when the Greyhound Depot was remodeled and expanded to take in the full length of Butte Street from the alley to Pine Street. It could be that this was the same time that the Greyhound dog was added to the Greyhound Depot sign.

Above: fa├žade of the Greyhound Bus Station on the corner of Butte & Pine Street, courtesy of

Recently we posed the question on Facebook, “What memories do you have of the Greyhound Bus Depot?” The most common response was the memory of the pay toilets upstairs that cost a dime. Some recalled the stairs leading up to the restrooms and green tile. The restaurant located in the Bus Depot received many positive comments. One person remembered it as being cafeteria style and getting food served on a tray as you walked through the line. Another shared that when her aunt and uncle made the trip from Santa Clara to Eugene, they always enjoyed their dinner in the cafeteria at the Redding Greyhound Depot. Two people remembered enjoying the photo booth. Still another told of her father being a driver for Greyhound and how she and her mother would meet the bus at the top of Sulfur Creek Hill, so she, at 4 years of age, could ride the rest of the way into town with her dad.

There were memories of joy and sadness associated with the Bus Depot for many of our readers. One story describes the warm memories of a young woman meeting her future husband for the first time as he got off the Greyhound bus. Another individual recalled the only time he met his grand-father was for a few short hours at the bus depot and how sad his mother was when his grandfather left on the bus. Several spoke of being put on the bus as a child during the 50s and 60s and traveling to a relatives’ house alone and what a different era it was then. Some recalled getting on the bus after enlisting and heading to basic training. One father remembers one of the worst days of his life as the day he put his son on a Greyhound bus to complete his second tour of duty in Vietnam. Still others relied on the bus to get to and from college.

The depot closed in 2010 when the decision was made to move it to the new RABA station by the railroad. The depot had been in a steady decline over the years with one reader sharing that it was not a place where one felt safe. The Redding Greyhound Bus Depot located on Butte Street was demolished in 2013. The Shasta Historical Society has the honor of being the current owner of the Greyhound sign that once graced Pine Street. The Society’s hope is to eventually find a downtown location where the public can once again enjoy the beautiful, iconic neon Greyhound Bus Depot sign.

Jake Mangus, Chamber of Commerce CEO, whose office now sits on the site once occupied by the Greyhound Bus Depot, shared, “It is important that we honor our treasured local history. The fact that many people in Redding have personal stories of their time at the Greyhound Bus Depot, brings history to life and makes it all the more important to tell the story of this place." We couldn’t agree more.

This is the present site of the Greyhound terminal. Photo above by Jeremy Tuggle, taken March 12, 2019, Yuba Street, Redding.


1925 City of Redding Directory (In private collection of Ralph Hollibaugh) Not listed.

1928 Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity Counties Directory – Pickwick Stages 615 California Street.

Pacific Greyhound To Be Stage Name – The Healdsburg Tribune newspaper, April 15, 1930

California News Review – The Lompoc Review newspaper of Lompoc, April 29, 1930.

Greyhound Lines To Take Over All The Transit Companies – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 30, 1930

Eight Periled When Stage Strikes Tree – Colusa Herald newspaper of Colusa, February 8, 1932

Seven Men Burn To Death In Bus Crash At Redding – Healdsburg Tribune newspaper of Heladsburg, June 4, 1937

Seven Cremated In Shiloah Springs Crash – The Daily Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 4, 1937

Mrs. Maddeline Sundermann Not On Bus – The Daily Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 5, 1937

Bus inquest At Auditorium On Tuesday – The Daily Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 7, 1937

CORONER’S INQUISITION REPORT Before Roy S. Duggins, Coroner. In the matter of the deaths of Wilber Alvin Short, C.A. Schafer, Alfred Ray Vessell, Timothy Neville, Fred C. Farrer, Morimer Albert Wilson and an Unidentified Male Person, deceased. – June 8, 1937.

1930 U.S. Census

1935 City of Redding Directory (In private collection of Ralph Hollibaugh) - 1618 California Street.

1938 City of Redding Directory

Bus Rates Have No Uniformity; Highest Here - Healdsburg Tribune, Enterprise and Scimitar newspaper of Healdsburg, December 22, 1938

1939 City of Redding Directory – 1323 Butte Street

U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 for Raymond Gilbert Archer

1991 City of Redding Directory (Greyhound Logging Company

Former Greyhound Depot Demolished To Make Room For New Development by David Benda, the Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, July 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


John Varner Scott was born to Hugh Scott and Margaret (Moore) Scott on December 27, 1821 in Tyrone County, Ireland. He was one of nine children born to them during their union. His parents emigrated their family from Ireland to England and then to the United States of America. The Scott family settled in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1833. Then on, September 25, 1844 John was naturalized as a full-fledged American citizen in the Superior Court of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Then in 1851, John Varner Scott departed Allegheny County, Pennsylvania for California when he crossed the Isthmus of Panama this route was the shortest route to California. John became a passenger on the ship the Atlantic, and the Atlantic took him safely to California where the voyage on the ocean was completed. John disembarked the Atlantic at the Port of San Francisco in 1852, and from there the reports of the placer mines of northern California seduced him to venture further north. Scott took a stage from San Francisco which made several changes along the route to Shasta, where he settled. In Shasta County, John V. Scott originally engaged himself as a miner mining the placer mines.

John was highly successful as a miner and he made his fortune by panning for gold and sluicing the grounds of his placer mines with his sluice box and long tom. During 1854, he associated himself with Alfred Walton and James W. Tull when John purchased an interest to their establishment in Shasta called the Franklin hotel. This hotel was located on Main Street. John became a co-owner of this business, and he eventually purchased the Franklin hotel from Walton & Tull, which made him the sole owner of that hostelry.

In April of 1857, a new luxurious three-story fire-proof brick hotel called the Empire was completed at a cost of $30,000, on Main Street at Shasta. The first Empire hotel was destroyed by fire in 1853. The new building was paid in full by its owners Donalson & Company which also included a Mr. Chapman. The Empire hotel competed in business with the Franklin hotel which was a smaller hostelry in town.

The Empire hotel advertised as having the following: private rooms for rent, large and commodious rooms for the accommodation of private families, a dining room, a bar with the best stocked liquors and cigars. In addition to the hotel there were also a corral and stable attached to the building. The Empire hotel changed ownership many times since Donalson & Company owned it.

The 1860 U.S. Census records John Varner Scott living with three other boarders. Their names were given as Charles Anderson, H. Long, and S. Sampson. John was listed as a hotel keeper. It's possible that the boarders were employed by Scott in his Franklin hotel. Anderson and Sampson were laborers while Long was employed as a cook. John claimed an initial value of real estate at $8,000 on the above census record.

He began courting an esteemed young lady from Shasta by the name of Catherine Lynch, a native of Ireland. Her name is sometimes found under the spelling of Katherine, as well. She was the daughter of Daniel Lynch and Bridgett (Callaghan) Lynch, her father was a local merchant at Shasta. The happy couple were married on December 29, 1863, in Shasta County. Catherine was twenty years younger than her husband.

ABOVE: an advertisement for the grand opening ball at the Empire hotel on January 1, 1868, the hotel was now owned by John Varner Scott. From the Shasta Courier newspaper of December 7, 1867.

In 1867, John V. Scott was still operating the Franklin hotel and he continued to own and operate it until 1868, and during the interim he acquired the Empire hotel which was located on Main Street at Shasta. John's only competition in town was the Charter Oak hotel, a two-story hotel which conducted a thriving business.

According to the 1870 U.S. Census, it records John and his wife Catherine living with five additional boarders inside their home at Shasta. John's occupation was listed as a hotel keeper and Catherine's occupation was listed as a land lady. Among the boarders were the following men: Charles Anderson, Charles Grotefend, Chris Gordenier, Michael Hansel, and James S. McDonald. Charles Anderson had been living with John V. Scott for the past ten years. Anderson was now employed as a hotel waiter, while Grotefend and Gordenier were employed as cooks, Hansel was employed as a laborer, and McDonald was employed as a hostler. 

ABOVE: A view of Main Street at Shasta. This post card shows the three-story Empire hotel, owned by John Varner Scott, on the left side of the image. The Shasta County Court house is also visible. Circa 1870. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Ten years later, the 1880 U.S. Census, documents John and Catherine living on Main Street at Shasta inside the Empire hotel. Catherine is listed as "Kate" and she is noted as a house keeper on this census record. John's sister-in-law Clara Lynch is also documented as living with them at the age of nineteen. Aside from the first three names on the above census record there are an additional thirty-two boarders living with them. Among the notable local names in this household living inside the Empire hotel are the following: Richard Ripley, Shasta County treasurer, Charles H. Behrens, hotel steward, Jerry Culverhouse, mail contractor and the second mayor of Redding, and Mary (Cloud) Culverhouse (wife of Jerry), the first female passenger on the train into the brand new town of Redding (then spelled Reading) departing from Red Bluff and arriving at the Redding Depot on September 1, 1872.

ABOVE: This became the regular advertisement continuously used by John Varner Scott for the Empire hotel on Main Street at Shasta. From the Shasta Courier newspaper Saturday, June 19, 1869.

Then on, September 1, 1889 John Varner Scott was commissioned as the receiver in the United States Land Office at Shasta. Scott still maintained an interest in mining and he actively worked a number of placer claims and quartz mines in the area. One of the more notable mines he owned was the lucrative Bunker Hill mine in the Middle Creek mining district of Shasta County. John V. Scott may have purchased shares of the Bunker Hill mine prior to 1891, which had additional owners. John still owned the Empire hotel in Shasta, but the pioneer would later lease the property to Charles H. Behrens.

One account from a local newspaper in 1895 about the life of John Varner Scott contained the following information: "Among our citizens, are a few who well remember witnessing lively times in the neighborhood of the new smelter site, near the mouth of Dog Creek, among whom is our townsman, John V. Scott, who early in the 50's, kept a hotel, store and saloon where Mr. Jones and family reside, and still known as the Stump Ranch." (SIC)

John V. Scott hired a local carpenter by the name of James Scamman to construct a stylish Queen Anne residential building on the west side of West Street near Tehama Street in downtown Redding on a piece of property he had purchased there. When the building was completed by Scamman in 1895 it had a registered address of 1520 West Street. The Shasta Courier newspaper reported the following about John and his wife Catherine on Saturday, December 28, 1895: 

"Mr. and Mrs. John V. Scott spent Christmas in Shasta. Their residence is now in Redding, but they have a warm place in their hearts for old Shasta, where they spent many happy years of their life." (SIC)

John Varner Scott continued to mine the Bunker Hill mine, and in 1896, the Bunker Hill mine was owned by Scott with a co-ownership consisting of:  Mrs. Carmichael of Oakland, and Mrs. Emily Loag of New York (the widow of James T. Loag.) A man named William Albert Pryor was an overseer of Mrs. Loag’s shares of the Bunker Hill mine. Pryor's position granted him access to the mining property and mining rights.

Later on, the Scott's began to contemplate a move south to San Francisco which persuaded them to sell their new residence to Charles H. Behrens, a longtime friend and employee of John's. Then on Tuesday, June 13, 1899, the Daily Free Press newspaper of Redding reported the following account:

"Mr. And Mrs. Charles Behrens and family have moved into the Scott residence on West Street, which Mr. and Mrs. Scott have gone to Shasta, where they will visit before leaving for their future home in San Francisco." (SIC)

After the Behrens family moved into 1520 West Street, John and his wife Catherine were invited that June to stay a couple of nights as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Hull in Redding upon their return from Shasta, and by June 24, 1899 the Daily Free Press newspaper of Redding reported that they have removed to San Francisco by that date.

Later, Charles Henry Behrens became the Sheriff of Shasta County and he served that position honorably from 1898 to 1902. This residential building in Redding is important to document here because it remains one of the historic Redding Victorian era structures which is still standing.

ABOVE: Today, 1520 West Street in Redding plays host to the Behrens-Eaton House Museum. This house was built for John Varner Scott. In the above image there is snow on the ground and building. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on February 13, 2019.

Many generations of the Behrens-Eaton family lived at 1520 West Street in Redding, the last descendent of Charles Henry Behrens died there in 2003. The last descendant of Charles H. Behrens was his grandson the late Superior Court Judge, Richard Behrens Eaton. It was the late Judge Richard B. Eaton who bequeathed instructions to his estate at the time of his death for his residence to be turned into historical museum for the citizens of Redding to enjoy. Presently, this building is now the Behrens-Eaton House Museum.

According to a 1900 California Voters Registration for John Varner Scott he lived in San Francisco at age of seventy-four. His street address was 1615 Laguna Street. On June 15, 1900, when the Assembly District 40 of San Francisco was enumerated for that district John Varner Scott appears on that census living at the above address with his wife Catherine who is noted at the age of fifty-eight and his sister-in-law Clara Lynch who is noted at the age of thirty-four. John was retired, after a life-long career as a hostelry man. John and Catherine often visited Shasta during the summer months as they grew older together, to visit his wife's family and their old friends who were still in the area.

Four years later, the pioneer died on December 28, 1904, in San Francisco and his remains were transferred to Redding where he was buried in the Redding Cemetery (now Redding Memorial Park.) At the end of his life Scott was partially blind, but he had a very reliable memory. John Varner Scott was one of the prominent members of Western Star Lodge, No. 2, the first instituted Masonic lodge in the State of California, and Scott has filled all its offices. He was also a member of the Council and Chapter, and he is a member of the Legion of Honor.

ABOVE: In 1898, John Varner Scott served as president of the Stockholders of the Millville and Burney Valley Wagon Road Company. From the Shasta Courier newspaper, December 3, 1898.

ABOVE: The headstone of John Varner Scott who died in San Francisco on December 28, 1904 at Redding Memorial Park. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on March 6, 2019.

ABOVE: Left to right is the headstones of Katherine (Lynch) Scott and her husband John Varner Scott. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on March 6, 2019 at Redding Memorial Park. 

ABOVE: this is the headstone of Katherine (Lynch) Scott who survived her husband by twenty years. Katherine died on July 2, 1924, in San Francisco, at the age of eighty-three from a stroke of paralysis which were caused by injuries that she received in San Francisco when she was hit by an automobile two years before her death. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on March 6, 2019 at Redding Memorial Park.

As a hostelry man John Varner Scott had the pleasure of hosting some of the most notable people in California history at the Franklin hotel and the Empire hotel. Some of the people were: Governor John Bigler, Major John Bidwell, Governor Henry P. Haight, Senator John P. Jones, author and poet Joaquin Miller, Republican politician and newspaper editor, George C. Gorham with a host of other notable names.


Empire Hotel - The Shasta Republican newspaper of Shasta, January 31, 1857

Empire Hotel - The Shasta Republican newspaper of Shasta, April 4, 1857

The Empire Bar - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, January 30, 1858

1860 U.S. Census

1866 California Voters Registration

1867 - Pacific Coast Directory, available on

1870 U.S. Census

1880 U.S. Census

Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891

Among Our Citizens - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, August 24, 1895.

Daniel Lynch Obituary - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, February 2, 1895

Mr. And Mrs. John V. Scott - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, December 28, 1895

John V. Scott - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, June 17, 1899

Pioneer Residents. - The Daily Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 24, 1899
1900 California Voters Registration

1900 U.S. Census

John V. Scott Has Gone To Long Rest - The Free Press newspaper of Redding, December 28, 1904

Mrs. John V. Scott Pioneer Shastain Is Called Beyond - The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 3, 1924

BP - 024 Behrens, Ludwig pioneer plaque file on file at Shasta Historical Society (Charles Henry Behrens & Mary (Kountz) Behrens article.)

SP - 007 Scott, John Varner pioneer plaque file on file at Shasta Historical Society

Shasta Historical Society Pioneer Record - John Varner Scott, dated March 18, 1943

Shasta County, California Marriages, 1852-1904

The Behrens-Eaton House Museum by Shasta Historical Society

Monday, February 25, 2019

Visiting the Grave of Benjamin Barnard Redding (1824-1882), the Man Whom Redding Is Named For

ABOVE: This is the Redding family plot in the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery at Sacramento. All of the photographs are taken by Jeremy M. Tuggle, unless noted otherwise.

On February 22, 2019, my son Carson and I toured the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery at Sacramento and we visited the grave of Benjamin Barnard Redding who was born on January 17, 1824 to Fitz W. Redding and his wife Mary at Yartmouth, Yartmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada. His family came to California in 1850, Benjamin was interested in mining and he did some mining along the Yuba River. Then in, 1854, Benjamin Barnard Redding became a publisher of the Democratic State Journal. Two years later, Redding was elected as a mayor of Sacramento. He was also the General Land Agent for the Central Pacific Railroad as well, and then he was appointed by Governor Low to be California's Secretary of State. Redding led a public life and he was also active in the State Board of Fish Commissioners for California.

ABOVE: This is the main headstone of Benjamin Barnard Redding in the Redding family plot one of four names etched into this towering headstone. 

ABOVE: This is the main headstone of Mary Prescott (Putnam) Redding wife of Benjamin Barnard Redding.

ABOVE: A secondary headstone belonging to Benjamin Barnard Redding and his wife Mary Prescott (Putnam) Redding.

Benjamin met and married Mary Prescott Putnam, and to this union four children were born to them. The children of Benjamin and Mary are the following: William Redding, J. Albert Redding, George H. Redding, and Joseph D. Redding. Benjamin Barnard Redding died in San Francisco on August 21, 1882 at the age of fifty-eight of apoplexy. He is the man who the town of Redding, California was named for which was established on June 15, 1872 by the California & Oregon Railroad, a division of the Central Pacific Railroad.

ABOVE: The headstone of George H.H. Redding son of Benjamin Barnard Redding.

ABOVE: A Redding family headstone, too faded to read.

ABOVE: A Redding family headstone, too faded to read.

Today, the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery is located at 1000 Broadway Street in Sacramento. It was founded in 1849 by early Sacramento residents. Today, the cemetery has an office which is opened to the public daily from 7 A.M., to 5 P.M., and guided tours are available as well. This historic cemetery includes 17 famous burials including three California State Governors such as: John Bigler, Newton Booth, and William Irwin. Find out more from their website at: Sacramento Historic City Cemetery.

ABOVE: A Redding family headstone, too faded to read.

ABOVE: The main headstone of Fitz William Redding son of F.W. & Mary A. Redding.

ABOVE: L-R: Jeremy M. Tuggle and his son Carson K. Tuggle posing for a photograph at the main headstone of Benjamin Barnard Redding in the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery. This photograph was taken by Cindy L. Nelson.

ABOVE: L-R: Jeremy M. Tuggle and his son Carson K. Tuggle posing for a photograph at a secondary headstone of Benjamin Barnard Redding and his wife Mary Prescott (Putnam) Redding in the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery. This photograph was taken by Cindy L. Nelson.


B.B. REDDING - The Sacramento Daily Union newspaper, of Sacramento, August 22, 1882

DEATH OF B.B. REDDING - The Shasta Courier newspaper, of Shasta, August 26, 1882

Benjamin B. Redding Find A Grave Memorial

Sacramento Historic City Cemetery 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tokens of History: Entrepreneurs Ralph Lewis Brown & Henry “Hal” Warren Brown

Tokens of History: Entrepreneurs Ralph Lewis Brown & Henry “Hal” Warren Brown

By Jeremy M. Tuggle & Chet Sunde, Psy.D.

Above: L-R: Brown's Coram Cigars & Tobacco and Ralph Brown, Kennett, Cal., five cents trade tokens. Front of tokens. From the collection of Jeremy M. Tuggle.

Above: L-R: Brown's Coram Cigars & Tobacco and Ralph Brown, Kennett, Cal. five cents trade tokens. Reverse side. From the collection of Jeremy M. Tuggle.

A woman named Flora Potter was first married to a man by the surname of Eldredge, whose given name eludes us, and during this union three children were born to them. However, two of their children died at a young age, and then a third child named Frank Raymond Eldredge, was born to them in Iowa in May of 1867. After this union ended, Flora married a second time to Andrew J. Brown in 1875. After that, she gave birth to Ralph Lewis Brown in California in November of 1875 and on March 7, 1882 in Arizona a second child named Henry Warren Brown was born to her.

The family returned to California in 1900 so Flora could reside near her son Frank who had been a resident of Shasta County since 1896. In 1900, the Brown family was living together in Redding. The 1900 U.S. Census recorded that five children were born to Flora (Potter) Brown and that only three were living by the time the 1900 U.S. Census was enumerated in June of that year.

However, the 1900 U.S. Census recorded that Henry Warren Brown was born in California, a typical mistake; we know for a fact that his true place of birth was Arizona due to additional supporting documents. Throughout his lifetime Henry Warren Brown was known by the nickname of “Hal” it’s unknown how he received this nickname but it stuck with him.

Their father, Andrew J. Brown is noted on the above census at the age of sixty-two, and he was employed as a carpenter. Flora (Potter) Brown was more than likely a common house wife who is recorded at the age of fifty-four, she didn’t have an occupation noted on this census. Their son Ralph is also noted at the age of twenty-four and he was employed as a news reporter.

Ralph was an employee of the Searchlight a local newspaper of Redding. The highest level of education that Ralph completed in school is not known. Henry is noted at the age of eighteen on this census and Henry was employed as a machinist. It’s not known where their children were educated. A later census record revealed that Henry completed elementary school and finished the eighth grade.

Then in 1906, Henry was employed as a clerk in Reuben Hoyle’s cigar and news stand in Redding. In April of that year, Henry Brown was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Redding School District to enumerate a census of the school children in their school district. The Board of Trustees of the Redding School District felt that Brown was young and energetic enough to complete the job before its deadline between April 15th and April 30th of that year. Henry was excited to accept this paid position while working for Hoyle. 

Above: another undated photograph of Coram. There is an unidentified man sitting on the porch of the building in the foreground reading a newspaper. There is some vegetation in the landscape surrounding this community in the above photograph. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

During May of 1906, the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company of Boston, Massachusetts, established the town of Coram located beside Cottonwood Creek, just north of Redding. Since the previous June, this company had already selected the site for the new smelter near the new town site. That May, advances on the property were underway as Shasta County’s fifth smelter was in its early stages of development. The contract for the brick work of the Coram smelter was awarded to the Holt & Gregg Company of Redding to produce one million bricks for the construction project.

In addition to that contract, another was let to the Terry Lumber Company who furnished two million feet of lumber during the smelter’s construction. The Bostonian mining company owned the lucrative Balaklala mine who the above mining company named themselves after. Their mine was located five miles away from the smelter site and their ore was eventually hauled to the smelter by an aerial tramway that stretched 16,500 feet. It was noted for its production of copper ore; the mine was located in 1882 by prospector Michael Thea. The town of Coram was named for Joseph A. Coram, a native of Montana, who had major stocks within in the above mining company.

After moving out of his parents’ house in Redding, Ralph Brown decided to settle at Kennett. The first business which Ralph established was located at Kennett where he opened a fruit stand. He borrowed $150 from his friends in Redding to make the investment work. After launching the fruit stand, the entrepreneur profited enough income to pay back his friends with interest. His fruit stand was located inside Victor E. Warrens’ brick building; a two story brick building with a basement, this building also included the famous Diamond Saloon.

Then on the evening of May 15, 1906, Ralph Brown married Flora Henderson in the Methodist Church at Kennett. Their wedding was performed by the Reverend Fay Donaldson. His brother Henry was his groomsman and a Mrs. Gage was Flora’s bridesmaid. At the time of their wedding, Ralph was a substantial business owner at Kennett. His fruit stand inside Warrens’ brick building now included cigars and newspapers. Brown had trade tokens manufactured for his store in Kennett with trade values ranging from five cents to ten cents.

Above: Ralph Brown, Kennett, Cal., ten cents trade token. From the collection of Chet Sunde.

At this time, Henry Brown was living at Redding where he would eventually resign from Hoyle’s cigars and news stand. This is when he wanted to relocate to Coram once Coram lots were available to purchase. Henry's parents remained in Redding, and not much is known about them after this time period. His half-brother, Frank Eldredge relocated south to Red Bluff where he became a licensed pharmacist. Frank had married in Shasta County on August 4, 1897, to Flora Kate Durfor.

Coram lots began selling on Friday, July 13, 1906 by the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company through their attorneys Sweeney & Tillotson in Redding and through Henry Brown who also represented the mining company. The local media often referred to Henry as Coram’s “first mayor” even though the town wasn’t incorporated yet as a city. It would take four more years for Coram to become incorporated. A few days later, two blocks in the brand new smelter community were sold to unnamed parties. Coram became a ramshackle mining community.

On July 21, 1906 the local media announced the establishment of a new town site called East Coram. The East Coram town site was located on land which was owned by its founder Hiram L. Tripp. Tripp was a resident of Santa Rosa who was employed as their post master. Another man named L.S. Barnes was one of his agents who helped him sell East Coram lots which would soon rival against the Coram town site.

In addition to that announcement, it was learned that East Coram would have a water system installed and it boasted something else that the town of Coram lacked- a newspaper. This new media outlet was published by Willard D. Pratt and it was called the Coram Enterprise. Since Henry Brown was selling Coram lots he was probably not too thrilled to learn about the East Coram town site coming into fruition. However, Henry probably advertised his store in the Coram Enterprise once it was published to gain more business for his store.

The Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company hired many people from many trades such as: miners, pipe fitters, muckers and laborers who were experienced in these fields to start the production of copper ore at the Balaklala mine which yielded lucrative results as the ore bins were filling up waiting to be delivered to the Mammoth smelter at Kennett to be treated, and by June 29th, one hundred men were employed at the Balaklala mine. This mine was located on the western branch of Squaw Creek. By July 20th, a dozen lots in the Coram town site were sold ranging from $100 to $400; it’s possible that Henry was one of the new lot owners because a one-story 24x40 building was nearly completed for him on September 14th.

At a rapid rate Coram was enlarging fast with streets, bridges, and residential houses being constructed. Henry’s 24x40 one-story building was the headquarters for his new business venture- a cigar and tobacco stand. The entrepreneur began to make profits off the local miners. He was self-employed and he named his business Brown’s Cigars and Tobacco. This new business included the Coram post office. Like his brother Ralph, Henry had trade tokens manufactured for his store in the value of five cents in trade. Then on, August 4, 1906, Henry was appointed as the first post master of Coram. It was a position that he held honorably for six years and it kept him busy. 

Evidently, a school and church buildings were constructed for the general public at Coram. One thing that Coram lacked was a practical sewer system and it was Henry who invited local residents to discuss this topic inside his building on the night of March 4, 1907. Henry Brown led the discussion that night. According to one newspaper account it declared the following, “It was practically decided to install a septic tank system and to practically duplicate the piping system that has already been installed by the Balaklala Company’s water system for the town.” A committee was appointed to insure residents that the new sewer system would be installed within the year.

Later that month, Ralph Lewis Brown was elected as a Justice of the Peace for the Kennett Township. Kennett did not have a court house yet so Ralph rented the basement of Warrens’ two-story building to be used as the Kennett court house. He also purchased the necessary furniture that was needed for the court room. There was a calaboose (a jail) that was used by him and the local constable to lock people up who broke the law, charged with minor crimes. For the more serious crimes the calaboose held these inmates until the sheriff was able to transport them to the Shasta County Jail in Redding, then these inmates were tried in the Superior Court. Ralph’s court room kept busy getting rid of rough figures in both Kennett and Coram. A prime example is that one time the Shasta County Jail held fifteen inmates. Two thirds of them were from these communities.

During the interim, the school year at Coram started and on April 19, 1907 the first term of the school year ended. On that day, the town of Coram witnessed a disastrous $2,000 fire that destroyed the newly constructed Jay Burress’ building; a fire brigade was formed by the local residents to extinguish the flames which were threatening other buildings in the area. It was undetermined how the fire began. 

It was Coram’s first fire, and more would become a threat in the future of the town site. Henry Brown’s building survived, which was a major relief to him. Henry Warren Brown was considered as the grand “pooh-bah” of the new smelter town by the local media because he engaged himself into a majority of Coram ‘dealings’. 

During the construction phase of the new smelter, the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company directed their miners to extract copper from their nearby mine. Ore bins continued filling up with great success and on October 14, 1907, the officials of the mining company above declared that their ore bins were filling up too swiftly. Any additional mining had to be delayed to finish the new smelter. Work on the smelter site was steady. Then on October 21, 1907 the above mining company announced that due to the unstable copper market in the east they had to stop construction on the new smelter.

Later it was determined that the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company were bankrupt. Funds were completely emptied within the company and many employees were laid off. This affected property sales in Coram offered by their attorney’s Sweeney & Tillotson and Henry Brown.

It also affected property sales in the East Coram town site. The media frenzied over this upset. Due to the closure of the smelter, Henry felt the economy at Coram plunge, as many other people did too. Coram became deserted for the first time that month and so did the rivaling town of East Coram. It’s possible that Henry relocated back to Redding, when Coram became deserted.

While Henry fell into financial difficulties due to Coram's economy plunging, Ralph Brown kept improving his store at Kennett with the best quality merchandise available, aside from fresh fruit, cigars and newspapers. Ralph was now engaged in selling novelty items at his store. Then in December of that year, Ralph held a contest at his store. It’s not known what the customers had to do to achieve the grand prize during the contest, however, the grand prize was a brand new doll and the winner of the contest was Mary Hawkins. Hawkins was a resident of Kennett. Local stores often held contests to help promote their merchandise.

Above: an interior view of the Ralph Brown store at Kennett inside Warrens' brick building, date unknown. Notice the cigars in the display case to the left. Pictured in the photograph is Ralph Lewis Brown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington D.C., allowed Henry Brown to retain his position of post master of Coram. Many people felt that the economy at Coram and East Coram would bounce back but to their dismay the economy failed due to no jobs in the area. The Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company was eventually purchased by a new incorporation called the First National Copper Company. The First National Copper Company was incorporated in Nevada on January 20, 1908, and they became the parent company of the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company. This new incorporation helped financed the former owner. 

In July, the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company ordered one hundred and thirty-five car loads of coke for the Balaklala smelter. Coke is a chemical reducing agent which is used to help fuel the smelter. The town of Coram and the town of East Coram were still deserted even though the coke was delivered to the smelter site. With this shipment it indicated to a lot of people that the Balakala smelter would be reopen soon and the new communities would burgeon with success.

Three months later, Coram and East Coram were still deserted town sites. That October, the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company hired 200 employees to work for them in their mine and at their smelter. These employees helped change the economy of Coram and East Coram as the town sites were rejuvenated with life. Henry Brown and the other prosperous business owners of Coram came back to continue operating their companies.

Property sales of Coram lots at Henry’s store were consistent and they were also consistent at the office of Sweeney and Tillotson in Redding. The completion of the Balaklala smelter took place on October 20, 1908 when copper reduction started for the very first time at the new smelter. The brand new smelter held a daily capacity of one thousand tons of ore per day. Coram and East Coram were up-and-coming communities to live and work in.

Above: the Balaklala Smelter at Coram, Shasta County, California. There is some vegetation in the landscape surrounding the smelter in this picture. Dense smoke covers the sky from the toxic fumes released into the air by this smelter. Courtesy of the Shasta Historical Society.

Turmoil aroused local farmers to clash with the smelting companies in Shasta County, in 1909, when they discovered that their crops and the nearby vegetation surrounding them were dying due to polluted air. The poor air quality contained deadly toxins that fumed from the local smelters. Due to their findings, local farmers organized the Shasta County Farmers’ Protective Association, a group from Redding, which elected Girvan resident McCoy Fitzgerald as their president. 

Many negotiations were held around the county with these smelting companies. This is important to mention because Henry was one of the few Coram business men who negotiated talks with the above group at a later date to help save the Balaklala smelter. Some of the other targeted smelters were the Mammoth smelter at Kennett, the Mountain Copper Mining Company smelter at Keswick, the Bully Hill smelter at Delamar, and the Afterthought smelter at Ingot. Not in Shasta County, but in other parts of the state farmers were winning law suits against smelting companies in the Superior Court and this concerned the officials of the First National Copper Company. Work at the Balaklala smelter continued with copper treatment even with the continued threats of a possible closure.

Then on, April 5, 1910 the town of Coram became incorporated as a city. The town of East Coram was now annexed into the City of Coram as well. The April 6, 1910 edition of the Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding heralded that Coram was now a sixth class city which won its incorporation in a vote of sixty to twenty-eight. The above newspaper article reported that the City Trustees were W.E. DeWitt, William A. Maguire, Arthur H. Fogarty, George O’ Grady and Claud D. Morton. The City Marshal was George Thomas, and another man named N.E. Kinyon was the City Clerk. The post master of the new City of Coram was Henry Brown. Henry become very instrumental in helping establish the new city. The City of Coram celebrated its incorporation that week.

Above: the Balaklala Supply Company at Coram manufactured this five cents trade token. From the collection of Chet Sunde.

In 1910, Henry Brown was living in the Keswick Township according to the 1910 U.S. Census. This census noted that he was employed as the postmaster for the town of Coram while he commuted to work every day from Keswick. He was listed at the age of twenty-eight. The one thing this record failed to mention is that he still operated his cigar and tobacco store at Coram. 

Ralph and his wife lived at Delta, in Shasta County, according to the above census when it was enumerated for their district on April 16, 1910. Ralph was noted as the local justice of the peace for the Delta Township on this census as well. Due to Flora (Henderson) Brown’s health declining, Ralph and his wife, relocated south from Delta to Oakland in Alameda County, and settled there.

Together they kept in close contact with their friends and family in Shasta and Tehama County by mail and they made frequent visits to the north state. Apparently, the move was what Flora needed to get healthier. It’s not known what her main health complications were. 

Ralph Brown was hired by the Fuller & Todd Company of Oakland to be their secretary. The above census also recorded that the City of Coram had an impressive population of seven hundred people at that time.

Their half-brother, Frank Eldredge was still married to his wife Flora, and they had a son by the name of Bernard who was noted at the age of five. Frank was still employed as a licensed pharmacist in Red Bluff where his family was living according to the 1910 U.S. Census. Frank was the only one of his siblings to have children.

Henry Brown was one of the business men in the City of Coram who favored the Cottrell process. Henry became a member of the committee of Coram delegates who believed that this process would solve the smoke problem for the Balaklala smelter. The Cottrell process was tested in the Balaklala smelter in February of 1911 with only one furnace operating. 

The Cottrell process was favored by these delegates because it removed the fumes from the smelting operation. The group had traveled from Coram to Anderson where they planned to meet with McCoy Fitzgerald and the Shasta County Farmers’ Protective Association on February 4th, but they were turned away by Fitzgerald. The main reason the Coram delegates were turned away by Fitzgerald is that the notice his group issued regarding the smelter smoke problems were not open to the general public. The meeting was only opened to people who had official business with the mining companies they listed on the notice. Eventually, the Coram delegates tried to arrange future meetings with the Shasta County Farmers’ Protective Association but they were unsuccessful in obtaining a meeting with them, and Henry Brown would not give up hope for the smelter’s future.

As a result of the Cottrell process failing, the smelting and mining operations at the Balalklala smelter were shut down on the morning of July 22, 1911. Eventually, the closing of the smelter would soon have a major impact on the economy of the City of Coram, which continued to operate. On August 3, 1911, it was reported by the local media that the city government of Coram was still active, yet activities in and around the city were very dull. The City of Coram’s treasury department operated with an extremely low budget even though they still had funds to use for spending if it was needed.

Brown’s Cigar and Tobacco store which included the Coram post office was still in business as well. By mid-August the City of Coram was deserted again. The only activities pursued by the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company pertained to their little saw mill near their mine. A very small crew of men was kept on the payroll to operate the mill. 

Ralph Brown returned to Redding on August 25, 1911, he had spent a year working as a secretary for the Fuller & Todd Company in Oakland undertaking real estate sales. Ralph Brown was quoted by the Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding by saying, “Business has been good… but I have sold out to an advantage.” He had sold out his shares of stock within that business yet it wasn’t clear what he wanted to do next in his life.

This was the second time the Balaklala smelter closed and the U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington D.C., wouldn’t allow Henry Brown to retain his position as post master of Coram. The following excerpt was taken from an article in the Sacramento Daily Union newspaper on October 12, 1911, about the Coram post office which Henry had charge of: “By order of the post office department, the office at Coram, Shasta county, will be discontinued October 31.” 

Henry returned to Keswick where he lived after the Coram post office was discontinued. During the following year, there were many attempts made by the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company to reopen their smelter. The City of Coram continued with its ghostly appearance. All that was left were the buildings which were completely intact.

Above: the Southern Pacific Depot at Coram in 1912. Check out the denuded landscape from the toxic fumes of the Balaklala smelter. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington D.C., reinstated the Coram post office because a man named George S. Bolles succeeded Henry Brown as the post master on March 21, 1912; evidently Coram retained a small population of people that met the regulations of the U.S. Postal Service. Brown may have continued to make a profit with his cigar and tobacco shop with the returning residents and may have allowed the new postmaster to use his building for the post office or it’s possible that he sold out to Bolles as well; we don’t know what exactly happened. With the smelter closed, the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company took an immense interest in their copper mine in 1914 as they began hire people and recommence the production of copper. This gave the City of Coram a revived energy and new businesses took over in the city.

During that period the copper ore was transferred out of the area to be treated. A search through the records and microfilm at Shasta Historical Society became exhausting to determine the initial outcome of Henry Brown’s Cigar & Tobacco store at Coram. It’s not known, when Brown relocated from Keswick. Probably between, 1914 and 1915, since very little is printed about him in the local media.

During 1918, the City of Coram became unincorporated as a city. After that, additional mining activities in the area slowed down while residents began to abandon the town. Eventually, the town of Coram became deserted again when the Balaklala Consolidated Copper Mining Company closed the Balaklala mine during May of 1919.

Henry Brown was then living at Concord, in Contra Costa County, with his wife Nora Eleanor (Knapp) Brown. Together they rented a house in that town and he had accepted a job as a fireman with the Associated Oil Company of Concord. The 1920 U.S. Census records him being employed as a treater in the oil works industry; it’s possible that he was still employed by the above company, while his wife’s occupation was not noted. Nora was recorded at the age of thirty.

Ralph and wife were documented as living at San Francisco according to the above census record. Yet, the census for their district is badly faded and is very hard to read. It’s not clear what Ralph Brown’s occupation was at that time. 

Their half-brother Frank continued living at Red Bluff with his wife Flora and their two children, Bernard and Majorie. Then on, May 19, 1921, Frank Raymond Eldredge died at Red Bluff. He was fifty-four years of age, and he was buried at Oakland, Alameda County, in the Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium and Mausoleum Cemetery. His funeral was well attended by his friends and family. Frank was survived by his wife Flora (Durfor) Brown and his two children, Bernard and Marjorie.

Then on, July 21, 1928, heart problems caused the death of Ralph Lewis Brown who died suddenly when he was on vacation at the Twain-Harte Lodge in the Sierra’s (Tuolumne County, California). Ralph died at the age of fifty-two. Before his death, Ralph had been a well-known cigar merchant and he owned a cigar store on Third Street at San Francisco. He was a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Hatter & Brown.

After his short interest in the real estate business, Ralph Brown entered a law school in San Francisco, where he graduated. Then he took the California state bar exam and passed it to become an attorney-at-law. The last time Ralph Brown visited Redding was three weeks prior to his death when he and some friends chartered a private plane to Redding. It’s unknown to us when his wife, Flora (Henderson) Brown died, but she did survive her husband. There were no children born to this union.

During 1930, Henry and Nora were living in Suisun City, in Solano County where Henry was engaged in running his own stationary shop. He is listed in the 1930 U.S. Census as a retail merchant. Once again they rented their own residence. Nora was more than likely a house-wife though the above record doesn’t record her occupation. They are living in the same place in 1935 according to the 1940 U.S. Census which also indicates they were residing in the same place again.

Henry was the owner of his own stationary store and his wife Nora assisted in a stationary store as well. More than likely is was her husband’s store that he owned and operated. Henry "Hal" Warren Brown died in Solano County at the age of fifty-nine on February 13 1942, his wife Nora survived him by another eight years and she died on July 2, 1950 in Alameda County.

Above: this undated photograph of Coram showcases the Culver hotel & the Smelter House Beer & Restaurant in the center of town. The landscape is denuded due to the Balaklala Smelter's toxic fumes which were released into the air. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.


1896 Voter’s Registration, Shasta County, California

1900 U.S. Census

BALAKLALA OFFICES WILL BE LOCATED IN DEPOT HOTEL – April 28, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

HAL BROWN TO TAKE CENSUS – April 2, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

HOLT & GREGG GET CONTRACT FOR 1,000,000 BRICK – May 3, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

BALAKLALA CONTRACTS FOR MUCH LUMBER – May 14, 1906, The Courier- Free Press newspaper of Redding.
RALPH BROWN IS A MARRIED MAN – May 16, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

100 MEN WORKING AT BALAKLALA – June 29, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

HAL BROWN, THE MAYOR - July 13, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding. 

CORAM LOTS – July 13, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

CORAM LOTS SELLING – July 13, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

NEW TOWN OF CORAM GROWING RAPIDLY – July 20, 1906, The Sacramento Union newspaper.

RALPH BROWN – July 21, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

EAST CORAM WILL HAVE WATER WORKS - July 21, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding. 

HAL BROWN, THE POOH BAH OF CORAM – August 10, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

HAL BROWN HAS POSTMASTER’S COMMISSION – September 1, 1906, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.
CORAM GROWS RAPIDLY – September 15, 1906, The Sacramento Union newspaper.

TWO JUSTICES WHO KNOW THEIR BUSINESS – January 26, 1907, The Sacramento Union newspaper. 

CORAM WANTS SEWER SYSTEM – March 4, 1907, The Courier-Free Press newspaper.

KENNETT COURT IN WARRENS BUILDING - March 24, 1907, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

CORAM NEWS NOTES – April 19, 1907, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

THE SMELTER TOWN OF CORAM HAS FIRST FIRE, April 19, 1907 – The Courier-Free Press of Redding.

BALAKLALA MINE WORK TOO SWIFT FOR THE SMELTER – October 14, 1907 – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

CONSTRUCTION WORK STOPPED – October 21, 1907, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

MARY HAWKINS – December 27, 1907, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

Mines and Minerals Volume XXVIII, August 1907 to July 1908, Scranton, Pennsylvania – International Textbook Company ©1908, pages 411-419.

The Copper Handbook A Manual of the Copper Industry of the World Volume: VIII – Compiled and published by Horace J. Stevens, Houghton, Mich. ©1908, pages 349-351.

McCOY FITZGERALD – July 8, 1908 – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

135 CAR-LOADS OF COKE FOR CORAM – July 23, 1908, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

THE CORAM SMELTER BLOWS IN SOON – October 15, 1908, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

1910 U.S. Census

1910 Shasta County Directory

CORAM DELEGATION GOES TO ANDERSON – February 4, 1911, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding 

$1,000,000 SMELTER MUST SHUT DOWN – June 21, 1911, The San Francisco Call newspaper.

CORAM SMELTER SHUT DOWN AT 8:45 TODAY – July 22, 1911, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

CITY GOVERNMENT OF STILL LIVES – August 3, 1911, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

RALPH BROWN, OLD-TIME REDDING NEWSPAPERMAN – August 25, 1911, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

WILL CLOSE POST OFFICE AT CORAM – October 12, 1911, The Sacramento Daily Union newspaper

Moody’s Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securites, Volume II, Seventeenth Annual Number, ©1916 by Moody Manual Company of New York. Pages page 2616. (First National Copper Company Incorporation, purchase, finance.)

RALPH BROWN – August 12, 1919, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

1920 U.S. Census

RALPH BROWN PASSES SUDDENLY IN SIERRAS – July 23, 1928, The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding.

1930 U.S. Census

U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971, available on microfilm in the archives of Shasta Historical Society.

1940 U.S. Census

Henry Warren Brown in the California, Death Index, 1940-1997, available on

Place Names of Shasta County by Gertrude A. Steger revision by Helen Hinckley Jones, ©1966 by La Siesta Press, Glendale, California, page 26.

Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, California – County Report 6 – by Philip A. Lydon and J.C. O’ Brien ©1974 by California Division of Mines and Geology, pages 1-178.

COUNTY WILL SELL TOWN FOR TAXES – November 13, 1976 – Redding Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding. (mine 5 miles away from smelter, aerial tramway.)

CORAM, a Flag Stop on the Southern Pacific – The Covered Wagon 1981, Written by Genev Vickers Roberts. Published by Shasta Historical Society. Pages 24-32.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PRESENT ‘THE RISE AND FALL OF CORAM’ – February 13, 2016 – Record Searchlight newspaper, written by Michael Kuker.

Shasta County, California Marriages, 1852-1904, published by Shasta Genealogical Society. (Eldredge marriage.)

On This Date… (Ralph Brown) – December 16, 2000, The Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding.

Murder of a Landscape, The California-Farmer Smelter War 1897-1916 by Khaled J. Bloom ©2010 Published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Publishing Division of the University.

Kennett Constable Assaulted – The Covered Wagon 2018, written by Jeremy M. Tuggle. Published by Shasta Historical Society. Pages 77-86.

Frank R Eldredge in the California, Death Index, 1905-1939, available on

U.S. Find A Grave: Frank Raymond Eldredge, available at:

Friday, January 11, 2019


Believe it or not, this location at 2146 Pine Street in between Market and Pine Street in Redding was home to Redding's first cemetery. It's on the flatter surface of this knoll. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on December 12, 2018.

Redding was established by the California & Oregon Railroad, a division of the Central Pacific Railroad, on June 15, 1872. Once the construction of the railroad resumed north from Anderson, the railroad company decided to bypass this burial ground, and make its way north to Poverty Flats where the construction stopped that year. This cemetery was now on the outskirts of the brand new town at the southern end. 

The first streets in town which were laid out by the railroad company was North, South East and West Streets followed by the nearby counties Placer, Tehama, Butte, and Yuba Streets. While Redding grew larger with additional streets and the development of Pine and Market Streets it brought more commercial businesses and private residences to town. The town grew into a flourishing city and this cemetery became an oft-forgotten location. It's a site of historical importance because it was Redding's first cemetery which a lot of people tend to over-look in Redding's early history. Over the years, the cemetery has been called the Redding Abandoned Cemetery. Today, the site is the former home of Biggins Lighting who just recently relocated to Larkspur Lane in Redding.

Since the cemetery's establishment in 1867, this piece of land became the final resting place of some of our counties early pioneer settlers for nearly thirty-nine years when it became abandoned and then rediscovered in 1906. At Shasta Historical Society, there are volumes of interment records for Shasta County cemeteries and among these are the records for this cemetery. It was Samuel Dinsmore, a young man, who died on April 24, 1867, at Dinsmore's ranch due to consumption at the age of twenty-five and he became the first interment into this newly established cemetery. Samuel Dinsmore was the eldest of four children born to John W. Dinsmore and Arabella (MacGlashon) Woodrum-Dinsmore. 

Together, the John W. Disnmore family arrived in Shasta County in 1852, and they settled at Shingletown. John W. Dinsmore was a millwright who is noted with erecting the Dry mill at Shingletown in 1853, with his partner Merriman Ferrel, a brother to his future son-in-law. Then in 1857, John W. Dinsmore purchased land from Major Pierson B. Reading, this land was part of the Rancho Buena Ventura land grant. According to Shasta County historian Madge R. Walsh, "Dinsmore located his home, the Four Mile House, about four and a half miles east of Shasta, on the west side of the stage road where it divided to go east to Green's Ferry, or south to Tehama via Canyon House. He had built his house before paying for the property, as it was already extant when the deed was recorded. Today, the site is about a quarter mile west of the junction of Highway 299 W and Ridge Drive.

The headstone of Samuel Dinsmore whose remains were re-interred into the Redding Cemetery (now Redding Memorial Park). His name is misspelled as Samnel. He is buried next to his sister Angeline (Dinsmore) Ferrel (whose surname is misspelled as Ferrell. Ferrel is the correct spelling. There are no dates on this headstone. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle August 28, 2014.

Later that year, Arabella Ferrel, a niece of Samuel Dinsmore, and a daughter of Henry Clay Ferrel and Angelina (Dinsmore) Ferrel died at Balls Ferry, at the age of eleven from congestive chills on July 27, 1867. Henry Clay Ferrel is my paternal great-great-great uncle, and his daughter became the second interment at this former cemetery. Henry C. Ferrel, was a native of Ohio, and he arrived in Shasta County in 1853. He was married in 1854 to Angelina Dinsmore. In 1860, they were living at Shasta, Henry C. Ferrel was a miner by trade.

This is the headstone of Arabella Ferrel, a daughter of Henry Clay Ferrel and Angelina (Dinsmore) Ferrel who was re-interred at the Redding Cemetery (now Redding Memorial Park). The Ferrel surname is spelled correctly here. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST BURIAL IN REDDING MEMORIAL PARK.  Note: Redding Memorial Park was established in the 1890s. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on August 28, 2014

The death notice of Joseph W. Brackett who died March 27, 1875 at Redding, he was a local lawyer. He was a son of Joseph Warren Brackett and Lydia (Miller) Brackett. His funeral was conducted under the supervision of the Masonic fraternity, of which he was a member. He was survived by his wife and a large family to mourn his loss. Taken from the Shasta Courier newspaper, Saturday, April 3, 1875.

The following is a confirmed listing of burials which took place between the years 1875 and 1877 and all of them were re-interred into the Redding Cemetery (now Redding Memorial Park);

Joseph W. Brackett died March 27, 1875
Emory Farhner died March 20, 1876
Ethol F. Wood died February 15, 1877
Annie Guilbert died July 20, 1877  (has no death notice, nor headstone.)

Six years after the turn of the 20th Century on February 13, 1906, the Redding Water Company rediscovered parts of the original cemetery when they were lowering the manes in that section of Redding. The majority of these burials above were re-interred into the Redding Cemetery (now Redding Memorial Park), that year. It was heralded across the state as a gruesome discovery, as their employees were finding the original coffins which were still intact and the headstones.

The local media claimed there were seven burials which had been unearthed, and only six of those seven burials are named in the cemetery records at the historical society. So who was the seventh burial? More research may uncover the answer to that question while it remains a mystery.

It’s possible that there might be additional burials at the former site of the Redding Abandoned Cemetery, only ground penetrating radar could tell us if there are any anomaly’s underground that shouldn’t be there today. It’s not clear if they recovered all of the burials because some references give this cemetery a much larger perimeter. It’s definitely, a location of historical interest that doesn’t get a lot of exploration, the next time you drive-by this former cemetery take a look as you're passing 2146 Pine Street.

The death notice of Emory Farhner, son of John Farhner, who died due to drowning in a small creek which ran through Redding and near the railroad tracks. Taken from the Shasta Courier newspaper on Saturday, March 25, 1876. 

The headstone of Ethel Florence Wood a daughter of William A. Wood and Mattie Wood. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on August 28, 2014.


Death Notice - Samuel Dinsmore - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, April 27, 1867 

Death Notice - Arabella Ferrell - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, August 3, 1867

Death Notice - Joseph W. Brackett - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, April 3, 1875

Death Notice - Ethel Florence Wood - The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, February 24, 1877

Ditch Men Make Grewsome Finds - The Press newspaper of Redding, February 13, 1906.

Finds Coffins And Headstones In The Streets Of Redding - The San Francisco Call newspaper of San Francisco, February 14, 1906

Shasta Historical Society Cemetery Records (Small Cemeteries) - Redding Abandoned Cemetery, page 299, available in the archives of Shasta Historical Society.
Shasta County Cemteries compiled by Ronald Joliff

DP-015 Dinsmore, John W. Pioneer Plaque file available on file at the Shasta Historical Society in Redding

The Dinsmore Family by Madge R. Walsh

Selected sawmills of the Shingletown area by Jeremy M. Tuggle, Record Searchlight newspaper of Redding, February 4, 2017.